Thursday, November 25, 2010


Getting the perfect Thanksgiving morning picture of the babies just wasn't happening. Unless by "perfect" I meant "one looks drugged and the other looks REALLY pissed". If that's what I meant, then yes, this one is PERFECT.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


... for the beautiful, happy, growing babies. For their charming, happy days where I think they're probably the best kids that ever did live, but for their grouchy, trying, 92 poopy diaper days as well. Because it's those "OMG I'M GOING TO DIE BEFORE 5PM" days that make me really enjoy and appreciate the better days. And because perfection would be boring, and I'd have nothing to blog about.

... for health. For a healthy husband and healthy babies and parents and siblings and grandparents. And healthy cousins and aunts and uncles and friends and the healthy (I presume) mail lady. (What? I like getting mail.)

... for heating. Because DAMN YALL, it's cold up here.

... for the 20-some Thanksgivings I spent in the home of my Grandma Rita, the Thanksgiving hostess with the mostess, stuffed to the brim with lefse and green olives and monster cookies, congregating with the cousins to make up plays and destroy grandpa's office and sprawl around on the living room floor to watch Home Alone when the last turkey bun had been eaten at dinnertime. I give thanks for the memories grandma created on this Thanksgiving, the time of year when I (and my family, I know) miss her most of all.

... and I also give thanks that I finally made it to the big girl table. At my house, anyway.

... for a house thisclose to sold in Austin (closing scheduled in 10 days! woohoo!), and a new house in the woods that we love so much we'd marry it if we weren't already knotted.

... for J, for showering in the basement so not to wake the babies at 5:45am, for his patience when my own is wearing thin, for working hard and allowing me to be home with the littles, for watching 16 & Pregnant with me even if doing so makes him die a little inside. And for being really good at so many highly important life skills that I just can't master. Fly swatting, remote controlling, meat grilling, etc.

... for my mom and my papa, because seriously? There's nothing they wouldn't do for their littles, not-so-little may we be. They're an inspiration. And for the fabulous Auntie Duane, because really, what's a family without some Duane? And for Binks, for not being imprisoned, and for Nikki, for telling me my cat's not coming home, because SOMEONE needed to say it (in a Green Bay gas station ladies room, no less).

... for Papaw and Mimi and Auntie LaLo, for the love and laughs and giving us a reason to still consider Texas, at least in part, home. (And happy birthday, LaLo!)

... for dear friends like Crystal and Harmony, who remember. I love you girls, and your babies too.

... for all the sweet and loving friends I am so lucky to have in my life, whether I see them every week or every couple of months or just on Facebook. A friend is a friend, and I'm lucky to have each and every one of you.

... for the Christmas cards I ordered and received before the turkey was even served. GO, ME. If you're a slacker (unlike me, because as I just said, I RULE) and you're still looking for that perfect piece of holiday correspondence, you MUST visit Erin Condren's site. A seriously A+ experience all around. They didn't make me blog about their cards and I'm not being compensated in any way to talk them up - I'm just a very happy customer.

... for RHOBH, for making me fall in love with Bravo all over again. And for NeNe over in Atlanta for doing some serious RHOA recon. And to the friend that shared this with me, because that's some serious hilarity.

... for you, my friends. For tuning in and leaving nice comments and reassurance and advice and making me feel that I'm never, ever alone in this journey of mommyhood.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

abdominal, abominable, whatever

Miss Vivi is now sufficiently cold weather garbed.

She kind of looks like the abominable snowman, right?
Except she's cute and doesn't have blue skin. And also, she's not abominable, meaning she's not very unpleasant and also not morally revulsive. (I'm not ashamed to admit I had to look that word up, and my initial search for "abdominal snowman" yielded few applicable results and one VERY DISGUSTING result. Take my word for it. Don't google it.)

And thanks, my dear blog readers, for the cold weather dressing tips that lead me to by this one piece bundler doodad thingy. I feel more comfortable putting her in her car seat in this- it's not quite as puffy as her winter coat, but a whole lot easier than trying to finagle her into a parka while standing beside my SUV freezing my bum off in subzero temps while a toddler wails to get "OUT OUT OUT". And it's very, very warm. Okay, and it's also very cool that I can take her to the store in her pajamas and nobody will know because you can't see her pajamas. Score one for that! If only they made 'em for mamas!

And also thanks, my dear blog readers, for realizing I was in a tired, brainless, semi-buzzed state and not commenting on my last post saying "it's WEDNESDAY, you big dummie!" Because I most certainly thought it was Tuesday at the time of the blog writing, when it was actually Wednesday. The day was really that bad.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Raising kids is some fickle monkey business. Just when you think "hmm, what an easygoing Tuesday we're having! Who said this mom stuff was so hard, anyway?" Just when you think that, then the little people wake from their naps and pull the rug right out from underneath your smug little feet. This morning went swimmingly. The littler little napped, the bigger little played, mama got mascara on before 9am. We went to the gym, nobody cried when I left, they played nicely with their friends, and we went to the store and didn't knock over a display or shatter a single glass object! I even made a wholesome lunch! And still got them down for naps at noon on the dot! And while they napped I cleaned and organized and updated my Christmas card list and caught up on emailing!

But then? This afternoon? Holy. MOLY. The SCREAMING. And WHINING. And THROWING. And HITTING. And HAIR PULLING. And PANTS REMOVING. (WHY does he remove his PANTS?) And did I mention the FUSSY WHINING? So finally, at 4:50pm, I just couldn't take one more second of V's melodramatic meltdowns, so I fed her dinner and dosed her up with Tylenol (it's gotta be teething) and put her to bed. At 5:10pm. And came downstairs and cracked a beer. Oh, don't call CPS, I just took inconspicuous sips. While hiding beside the fridge where the toddlerperson couldn't see me. Until I saw J's headlights coming down the road, then I chugged that brewski like a freshman frat boy. Then handed over the little Mister to the big Mister and headed off (with chocolate and my laptop) in search of a quiet place where nobody would whack me on the head with a wooden puzzle piece. Until tomorrow morning.

Monday, November 15, 2010


There's nothing like the warm, cozy brand of happy contentment that comes from sitting on a couch with a bunch of old friends. Girls who knew and loved the "before" version of you. The girl you were before "mommy", before "wife", before mortgages and car payments and all the other appendages of grownupness. The 19 year old with a Britney poster stuck up with sticky tack on a sorority room wall and an atrociously unconvincing fake ID, full of aspirations and sass (sass that sometimes got your friend bitchslapped by a drunk chick outside a bar). Girls who have now grown into business owners and teachers and kickass SAHMs. So nowadays, instead of tight jeans and heeled boots and sparkly tight tees, it's sweatpants, pony tails, glasses of wine. Conversation that hushes when a little one cries out from a crib ("please please please don't let that be my kid!"), then picks right back up a second later. The kind of weekend that you drive away from feeling reconnected and grateful for girlfriends who grow and change but are still the same fun, sweet, hilarious girls at heart. And this weekend, it wasn't just old friends, but also four little girlfriends-to-be. Here's hoping in 30ish years, Vivian and Sylvia and Giana and Lily have a weekend just like this one. (Anderson and Kaden and Ellis will be off doing something super manly and most certainly not wearing matching jammies, ever.)

Thanks, Jenny and Megan and Katie and Sarah, for this much needed girlfriend weekend. I love you girls!

Getting the little girls ready to brave a winter storm and strike out in search of essentials. (Essentials meaning clothes at the mall.)

Vivian, meet snow. Snow, meet Vivian.

Vivian likes snow. And hats. Lots and lots of hats.

(Lily, Gia, Vivian, Sylvia)

Vivi and Sylvia saying "bye bye" to their girlfriends.
Until next time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

9 months!

NINE. Nine months. I just used up the last single-digit sticker. There are only two more stickers. Two more! Then she's ONE! Baby girl, you're getting big much too quickly for your mama's liking.

(Thanks to Auntie LaLo for the stylish outfit. This girl of mine lucked out BIG TIME in the auntie department.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Tonight, I'm a mess. A good mess, but a blubbering emotional mess. Because a thousand some miles south of here, in Austin, one of my very best friends just became a mommy. And this friend? One of the most beautiful, strong, deserving new mommies in the WORLD (her husband's not so bad, either). Tonight, in the very same hospital where we first saw our sweet Vivi 8.9(!) months ago, a newborn baby girl has no idea how lucky she is to have those two as her mama and daddy. I can't wait to meet her.

Yesterday, the emotion of the day was grateful. 62 degrees in mid November? HOLLAH! So the moment the littles stirred from their naps, I grabbed them up and we were off. To the park, for what will very likely be our very last park trip until spring arrives. (In July.) We ran around that park until the sun sank down below the trees lining the lake, then we shivered our way back to the car and waved a sad buh-bye to the park before it's buried beneath 83 feet of snow.

So long, park.

And Friday? Friday's emotion is something like "OMG I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED I MIGHT PEE MY PANTS!" On Friday, Miss V and I are off on our very first mother/daughter road trip. To Minneapolis, to meet up with my other very best friends/college roomies/sorority sisters/girls who I missed TERRIBLY while away on my southern sabbatical. Even more exciting? Between us, we've got four baby girls age 8.9(!) months to 22 months, and this will be the first time Vivian has met any of them. Big, squealy girlfest to ensue. I'll miss my boys, who will be back home holding down the fort and wearing mismatched clothing, but they'll most certainly enjoy some dude time (and a break from my many emotions).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

coat conundrum

One thing I'm not so much enjoying about baby-rearing up here in the great white brownish north? The car seat + winter coat thing. What do you DO, northern mamas? Bundle the baby into a coat, stuff her into the car seat, struggle to tighten the car seat straps to an acceptable level of snugness (while she pitches a fit), and drive off with your baby unable to move even a centimeter? Or do you put the baby in the (cold) car seat sans coat, give her a warm blanket for the ride, and then find a way to finagle a baby into a big puffy coat in the parking lot of your destination, usually resulting in a crabby baby and a frustrated toddler SCREAMING HIS HEAD OFF because you're not getting him OUT of his car seat fast enough for his liking? (And no, I can't let him out of his car seat to roam the SUV while I bundle the sister, because last time I tried THAT I ended upwith a Diet Mountain Dew poured down the front of my radio. Total PITA, either way. So what do you do? Because it's becoming problematic, and it's not even snowy yet. Fill me in, wise winter weather mommies.

But one thing I really am enjoying? My baby in a hat. You rock that hat, Miss V. And the five others I've already bought you since we moved here. WHAT? It gets cold! She's too pretty to be cold.

Monday, November 1, 2010


When we moved up to the woods, one of my very first stops (before I traded in my TX drivers license or changed the mailing address on my UsWeekly subscription, even) was the gym, where I signed us up for a full family membership. I knew two things. One, that after 8 1/2 months, these last few (FINE, 5!) ((FINE, 8, YOU HAPPY NOW?!?)) pounds of baby weight just aren't going to magically melt away as I'd once hoped they might. And two, the gym-going was going to be our ticket out of the house when the temps are below zero and we're climbing the walls out here with only deer and snowbanks to keep us entertained. But my Mister? The one who'd been cared for lovingly all day every day by mommy and mommy ONLY since birth? He wasn't so keen on this gym plan, because it involved him staying with strangers at the childcare center. Nice, loving, gentle strangers .... but they were NOT his mama and he was NOT okay with them AT ALL. I tried for two weeks to get him acclimated. He'd scream when I dropped him off, and he'd just keep on screaming until the childcare center ladies could take no more and would come marching into the fitness center and drag me off my treadmill before I'd had a chance to break much of a sweat. So after a few weeks of these fruitless trips where I packed everyone up and hauled everyone in and went through this emotionally draining drop off process only to end up back in the car thirty minutes later with a shuddering, puffy-eyed toddler, I gave up. It had been a wild time in the life of Mister, what with the move and the new house and all, and I figured I was pushing too much too soon. He just needed some time to adjust.

Fast forward. We've been here two months. He's finally stopped dragging the suitcases out of the closet and pulling them to the door chanting "pane, pane, pane" (aka: "plane, plane, plane, get me out of here and take me HOME where I BELONG"). I'm still not into the skinniest of my skinny jeans. The gym is still deducting their fee from my checking account every month, whether we step foot inside their facility or not. And I knew if I waited much longer, Miss Vivi would catch on to this whole "mama's not allowed to leave my sight" thing and I'd have TWO screamers to contend with. It's time to get back to the gym. So yesterday, we went. And as expected, Vivian smiled and went willingly to the first pair of childcare arms that reached out for her. And Anderson howled. He screamed as I removed his coat, shook his head "no" over and over and over again when I tried to say goodbye, big sad tears running all down his face. But this time, I knew I had to be tough, for all our sakes. I knew we were ready, even if A wasn't so sure. So I kissed him once more, told him mommy would be back in awhile, and walked out. And did the workout thing, which felt AWESOME, thankyouverymuch. I watched the Today Show, got my walk/run on, and tried not to worry (too much) about how things were going for the Bug. And when I returned 50 minutes later, I peeked through the childcare center windows and almost cried happy tears of pride. I saw my big boy, chilling at the color table (with a little girl who I sure hope was only rocking those pink highlights because the night before was Halloween), like it was no big thang at all to spend an hour without his mama:

And today? Five seconds of pouting from the boy, and that was that. I came back in an hour and he didn't want to leave. He had a new buddy, a toy helicopter, and more confidence than I'd ever seen him have before. I'm SO proud. (And sore. Damn. I'm SORE.)

Bonus? Beyond the skinnier/saner me and better socialized littles? Naps, people, the NAPS! After all the excitement of the morning at the gym, my kids have been down for three hours and are showing no signs of waking. Anderson did the same yesterday. Thank you, gym. You're worth every auto-drafted penny.